‘The winners of the Stove League this season are Park Min-ji and Lim Hee-jeong.’
As Lim Hee-jung (23), who had not been able to find a main sponsor until last year, confirmed a two-year sponsorship contract with Doosan Engineering & Construction, the 2023 Stove League is also in an atmosphere of completion.
As the prolonged economic slump became a reality, companies tightened their belts by minimizing unnecessary and non-urgent investments in this Stove League, and no ‘history’ contract was announced. However, the industry evaluates that “the players have received enough to be treated according to their performance.” This is because the ransom of players within the 10th to 15th place in the prize money ranking, so-called ‘S-class’, has risen.
Officials in the golf industry said that Park Min-ji (25), who had won 12 wins in 2 years, including 6 wins (2 majors) last year, and achieved 2 consecutive victories in prize money, renewed her contract with NH Investment & Securities and received an annual down payment of 9-1 billion won. (incentives are separate). This is the highest level of main sponsorship contracts signed by KLPGA tour players this season. It is the second highest amount after Choi Hye-jin 메이저놀이터(24) among players active in Korea, excluding overseas players. When Choi Hye-jin signed a contract with Lotte ahead of 2020, it is known that she received a down payment of 1 billion won.
Lim Hee-jung, who set the record for winning last year’s national title, DB Group Korea Women’s Open, with the lowest score (19 under par, 269 strokes), the exact amount has not been revealed as the two sides agreed not to announce specific conditions. However, her officials estimate her down payment for Lim Hee-jung to be around 800 to 900 million won. She has won 5 wins (2 majors) on her KLPGA Tour career over 4 years, including her 1 win last year, and above all, her star character driving her cloud gallery was a big advantage. Lim Hee-jung won the KLPGA Popular Player Award, chosen by her fans for two consecutive years from 2021 to 2022.
It is a message from industry insiders that they clearly performed well on the KLPGA tour last season, or that star players signed contracts with significantly increased prices compared to two years ago in this Stove League. Lee Ye-won (20), who made an outstanding performance by rising to third place in the prize money rankings with the rookie award, re-signed with KB Financial Group for an increased amount, and Lee Ga-young (24), who won her first championship in her life, was also recognized for such achievements and was awarded a second contract with NH Investment & Securities. Agreed on a one-year contract renewal.
Lee So-mi (24), who won two victories last year and changed her hat to Daebang Construction, is said to have received a down payment that would put her in the top 5 among contract renewal candidates this year. Jo Ah-yeon (23) also resurrected with two wins and moved from Dongbu Construction to Korea Real Estate Trust, and the contract was reached at a satisfactory level.
Park Hyeon-kyung (23) also did not win last year, but she quickly renewed her contract thanks to her symbolism as a leading star of the KLPGA tour and an original member representing the Korea Land Trust over the past few years. As soon as Park Hyun-kyung puts on the Korea Land Trust Hat in 2020, she has won 3 wins (2 majors) on the KLPGA Tour. Unlike her usual two-year contracts, she runs the field under the auspices of the Korea Land Trust for three years until 2025. Her down payment also skyrocketed.
Companies were also active in the search for promising new players. This is because it can catch both rabbits: efficiency and player development. Hite Jinro and Lotte already signed contracts last year with Kim Min-byeol (19) and Hwang Yu-min (20), who stood out from their amateur days. debut Hwang Yoo-min is also a talented person who is evaluated as the most powerful newcomer candidate this year.
In addition, a new golf team will be established this year. Since last year, Doosan E&C has been working behind the scenes with the top priority on recruiting top players, and after going through several adjustments, it got off to a successful start by recruiting ‘Dae-eo’ Hee-jung Lim as the first player. In addition to Lim Hee-jung, Doosan E&C is expected to accelerate the recruitment of star players.